Has your kitty ever started jumping and running around all of a sudden without any apparent reason? If the answer is yes, well, I know the struggle.
My cats often startle me with similar things. One minute, they’re resting and napping and the next moment they twitch, dilate their pupils and start running around like someone’s hunting them.
So, why do cats do that? Is it possible that they’re scared of something you can’t see? Let me tell you straight away, it’s possible.
Cats may be scared of things you cannot see because they’re able to sense certain sounds and vibrations that you can’t.
To help many cat paw-rents dealing with the same issue, here’s a list of the possible things which can scare our felines that we can’t see or hear!
5 Things That Might Scare Your Cat But You Can’t See Or Hear
Thanks to their remarkable senses, cats are able to sense certain things that we can’t. Therefore, they may react to unfamiliar sounds, vibrations, sudden movements, bad energy, and similar.
It’s important to know about potential things that frighten our cats; such stressors may cause behavior problems. So, here are the things that we can’t see or hear but which may frighten our furry friends!
#1 Strange And Unfamiliar Sounds
According to a research paper entitled Hearing Range Of The Domestic Cats, cats’ hearing range goes from 48 Hz to 85 kHz, which is much broader than our range of perception.
Because of that, they can easily hear high-pitched sounds, which also makes them remarkable hunters.
However, loud noises, such as traffic noise, thunder, car horns, emergency sirens, a vacuum cleaner, or similar things, may be really stressful for cats.
These sounds may scare your cat, especially if it has experienced a traumatic event in the past, such as a car accident. In that case, the cat may go crazy any time it hears a similar sound, trying to escape the recurrence of the traumatic event.
My young kitty Loo is afraid of thunder; she basically starts crying and running around the house, looking for a place to hide. In the end, she always snuggles right next to me and it helps her calm down.
Cats are also able to feel different types of vibrations. For example, they can feel the tiny vibrations that we can’t sense that occur before an actual earthquake. If you don’t believe it, just read on!
One night, my cat Penny was lying in her bed. All of a sudden, she jumped out of bed and started running around the house like crazy. After that, she hid under the table and stood still.
A few seconds after that, an earthquake began. At first, I didn’t know what had gotten into her, but after the earthquake, it was all clear to me.
My cat had sensed the vibrations before the earthquake. This scared her, and her natural instinct told her to look for a place to hide and protect herself. Amazing, isn’t it?
#3 Unfamiliar Smell
As well as incredible hearing and vision, cats have an excellent sense of scent. Many foods and similar things in nature are very toxic for cats but, thanks to their powerful scent ability, they manage to avoid them.
Moreover, our cats are able to smell certain odors that we can’t. Therefore, if they get scared of something, it might be that they have noticed a certain scent which is either toxic for them or reminds them of a traumatic event they once experienced.
#4 Sudden Movements
Many people wonder how cats get scared of sudden movements. Well, cats are predators in nature and they have to be very careful, agile, and quiet in order to catch their prey.
However, besides being predators, our cats are also potential prey to some other bigger animals.
Therefore, when they’re outdoors, they may get startled by sudden movements and similar things which will send them running away to get to safety.
#5 Unknown Environment
If you’re a cat parent, then you have probably learned by now that cats are creatures of routine. This is why it’s very hard for them to get used to new things, such as a new environment.
If you have moved house recently and your cat has started behaving differently or acting weird; such as hiding all the time, meowing loudly, running, jumping and similar, then your cat is obviously scared of the new environment.
When I adopted Loo, she hid herself in a box and didn’t come out at all. She was frightened, but luckily she was a different cat after a few days.
Cats don’t usually feel safe or comfortable in an unknown place; therefore they will need some time to adjust to their new home, and they will need your help.
Things You Can Do To Calm Down Your Scared Cat
Now that you know the possible things that can scare your cat, even if you can’t see them, it’s time to learn how to help them calm down in such situations!
Eliminate The Possible Stressors
The first and the most important thing to do is to find out what is stressing your cat. Start monitoring your cat’s behavior and I’m sure you’ll easily figure out what has caused them to get scared.
Then you should try to remove the source and let your cat know that it’s safe. For example, if your cat is afraid of the vacuum cleaner, then you should isolate your cat in a safe, quiet room while you’re vacuuming.
Help Your Cat Get Used To Their Triggers
If you cannot eliminate the possible stressors then it is a good idea to help the cat get used to their triggers.
For example, you cannot really eliminate traffic noise completely; therefore, you should help your cat get used to it. Expose the cat to things that stress it and let it adjust to them. For an even better result, you can reward your cat with its favorite treats.
Give Your Cat Some Alone Time
When cats are scared, they usually run and jump around looking for the perfect hiding spot where they can protect themselves.
Some cats who feel threatened and scared may often react aggressively out of fear and may even hurt you, no matter if you’re their owner.
In that case, it’s better to leave the cat alone and give it some time to calm itself down. Just keep your distance and ignore the cat until it comes to you for comfort.
Consult With Your Vet
If your feline friend is dealing with anxiety, you can also consult with your vet. Your vet may suggest certain therapies for feline anxiety and phobias.
In such cases, a vet may prescribe anti-anxiety medications, suggest you use pheromone sprays, or even recommend natural herbs such as catnip or chamomile, to calm your anxious cat down.
The Bottom Line
If your cat is scared of something you can’t see, then some of these solutions should be helpful. Don’t hesitate to try them; calming your cat and helping it is of great importance, especially if you don’t want to deal with serious issues later on.